Ravens and grizzly bears -unique relationships

ravens and grizzly bears

Wherever you find grizzly bears you will surely find ravens.  I witnessed the most amazing scene one day between two ravens and a pair of fishing bears.  This bear in the photo, along with one other bear, were successfully fishing the river for salmon.  After gorging, their faces smeared with bright red blood, the two bears settled down for a long nap.  The ravens had enjoyed feasting on the salmon scraps left by the bears.  However, while the bears napped the ravens were out of food.

We witnessed the two ravens standing face to face, talking up a storm.  It was the most visually distinct conversation I’ve watched between two animals.  The ravens were standing next to one of the sleeping bears.  They bobbed their heads, talked back and forth never interrupting the other.  After the conversation, one raven took flight and landed next to the other napping bear.  Then both ravens walked up to the bear’s faces and began jumping up and down, making noise, trying to wake up the bears.  The two ravens were clearly, and in coordination, trying to rouse the bears into another round of fishing.   The bears, however, with full bellies and blood fresh on their snouts, kept on sleeping through the racket.  Ravens have been proven to be one of the earth’s most intelligent animals, and they have one of the largest brain to body size ratios which is often used to indentify intelligence in animals.  The clear cut conversation we witnessed – the two ravens clearly developing a strategy together, was amazing to see in person.  I wish I had captured it on video, but here are a few more photos from the scene.

raven intelligence











Here the two ravens strategize on how to wake the bears.

raven flying

One raven takes flight to wake up the second bear.

ravens and brown bears

The ravens start making noises to urge the grizzly bear back into the water.


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